Alistair Gentry

Self portrait as a bisque doll, 2018. All real artists get turned into a doll.

I’m a writer and artist or an artist and writer… sometimes other things, too.

I live in the UK, currently in London. My work for publication, performance, broadcast and installation is often “subversive” (SFX), at times “startling” (The Independent) and occasionally even “fascinating” (The Times). Wikipedia classifies me as a “Science Fiction Artist”. I’m not sure what the anonymous Wikipedians and/or their taxonomical algorithm were thinking, nor am I entirely sure what it signifies, but perhaps I’m an artist from science fiction… a character in a William Gibson novel?

In 2018 I worked on the fourth year (!) of The Portland Office for Imaginary History, performed live a lot, compiled a-n‘s online resource on mental health, and I was involved with The Bank Job, a community arts project about money and debt in the community I actually live in, which won the Artquest Workweek Prize for artist-led projects. In 2019 I’m research artist in residence at The Open Data Institute in London, developing DOXBOX TRUSTBOT: an AI for playing with digital ethics. You can read my writing about independent artists and artist-led projects in every issue of Sluice magazine.


Nowhere Plains, performance lectures/live webcasts (2005-2008)

I take part in gallery exhibitions, art and film festivals, readings, workshops and real-world interventions throughout my home country, the rest of Europe, and the world. I also write for blogs and magazines. The latest updates about my work are always on Blog/News page first. Highlights of my career so far include the publication of two novels, being artist in residence at the University of Edinburgh’s Genomics Policy & Research Forum, exhibiting my films at La Biennale di Venezia, being awarded the Berwick Gymnasium Artist Fellowship by English Heritage and Arts Council England, and everything I’ve done in Japan. 日本は私の好きな場所です! 私が帰るように私を招待してください… I’ve been an artist in residence in England, Scotland, Wales, Norway and China: a properly paid and supported artist in residence, incidentally, not the type you pay for yourself which is just going on holiday really, isn’t it?

Colonel Robin, mask for a Yuletide ritual (2016).

In 2010 I wrote a successful memoir of being a fairly unsuccessful artist, Career Suicide, which you can buy by clicking the link to the left. I accidentally set up the planet Earth’s number one online source for the full and unexpurgated erotic letters of James Joyce.


Danse Macabre from Magickal Realism, performance lecture & video (2009-2013)

My inspiration comes from historical and contemporary folklore, traditional storytelling, and magical or esoteric practices of Britain, Europe and Asia. I have an equal interest in science and technology, particularly the social sciences and their processes. I’ve collaborated extensively with scientists. I sometimes use scientific and academic research methods earnestly, sometimes satirically and pataphysically. Many of my projects are the result of extensive research in particular places, subjects and communities, sometimes over the course of many years. I also like silly costumes, museums, absurdity, visiting the uncanny valley, the Oxford comma, and making machines do things their manufacturers wouldn’t approve of. Read a 2011 interview with me by fellow writer and artist Iain Aitch here or one I did in 2014 for the exhibition Lecture-Performance here.


Stendhal Syndrome, performance lecture & video (2011)

I was a founder of Market Project: professional and economic research by artists (2010-2013), which was funded by Arts Council England. Until the gallery’s closure in 2012 I was an Associate Artist at ArtSway, having worked with them in various capacities since 2002. For most of my career I’ve worked collaboratively with other artists, writers, designers, actors, architects, scientists and audiences and I still do. I constantly seek new opportunities to make, exhibit and talk about my work, to perform or do readings, and to forge new and lasting connections with interesting people or places, so I really welcome enquiries and communication.

I post regularly on Twitter, and it’s a good place to reach me and ask questions if you want to. You can also contact me via the BIO/CV menu at the top of this page. My critical writing about contemporary art has most recently been published by a-n, Garageland, The Guardian, and Sluice magazine. I write a column for every issue of Sluice, and also regularly write for a-n news.


Three Times True, video installation (2007 & 2013)









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